How can you use Positive Data Logs to increase your self-esteem?
Many problems with emotional or mental health result when someone falls into a pattern of negative thinking. They interpret everything that happens in their life in such a way that the “evidence” seems to support their unhelpful view of themselves.
If you have a problem with persistent negative ideation around yourself and the things that happen in your life, using positive data logs with the support and advice of a cognitive behavioural therapist, and subsequently in your own time, could be life-changing for you. Once you get used to the technique, you can use it on your own at home to help you to continue to learn how to think in a new and more useful way about yourself and your life.
A positive data log is just what it sounds like: it is a record kept over a medium to long periods of time that reflects and reinforces the new, healthier ways of thinking that you are increasingly adept at. The simplicity of the tool does not even hint at the extent to which it can be used for truly meaningful transformation.
Let’s say, for example, that you believe that people dislike you and that you are unlikeable. Take a piece of paper and a pencil and write down your negative self-belief: “Nobody likes me.” Think about how much you believe this to be true and assign the negative statement a percentage of belief, such as 70% or 90%, or whatever seems appropriate to you.
Next, write an alternative and more helpful belief. For instance, you might write: “Maybe I am not everyone’s cup of tea, but some people like me and share my sense of humour.” Then assign a percentage of belief to this more positive statement. You might decide that you believe in this to the tune of 20% or 30%, or whatever.
Next, add your two percentages together and record the total.
Look at the evidence that challenges your negative view. You may be able to add more points to it, such as: “The shopkeeper in my local store always wants to chat to me,” or, “My neighbour relies on me to care for her cat when she is away and is deeply appreciative,” or, “My old schoolfriends make sure to stay in touch with me.”
Examine your negative belief and the percentage with which you believe in it in light of the evidence to the contrary. Most probably, the extent to which you believe in these negative views will reduce to a lower percentage.
Over time, you will become progressively more adept at challenging your own negative views and better able to focus on the positive. The very act of writing down positive beliefs about yourself and your life will help to make them more concrete and more real to you and, as time passes, you will get better and better at accentuating all that is positive and fulfilling in your life while your negative self-beliefs recede.
While positive data logs are easy and effective to use at home without supervision, many people find it useful to have a few sessions with a cognitive behavioural therapist first.
WHO CAN I SPEAK TO FURTHER ABOUT THE ISSUES IN THIS ARTICLE?
For help with the issues discussed in this article speak to one of our therapists here at Private Therapy Clinic for a free initial chat or to make an appointment.